Nothing says Easter like a basket full of delicious, decadent chocolate eggs wrapped in colourful foil. But store-bought eggs (especially the cheaper, industrially-produced ones) tend to be filled with lots of empty bulking agents like carnauba wax and unhealthy preservatives. Plus, the excessive amount of packaging is definitely no good for the environment.
Thankfully, making your own Easter eggs is actually really easy and fun. While melting chocolate can be a bit scary for the novice home cook, it doesn’t have to be – check out our top tips below for making sure your chocolate creations are as good to look at as they are to eat.
What’s more, it’s a fun activity the whole family can enjoy. Younger kids can help measure ingredients or decorate the finished product, and the older ones can help you fill the moulds and temper the chocolate. So what better way to celebrate Easter than by making chocolate eggs – and make some lasting family memories as well?
Here’s what you need:
To purchase the equipment you need listed above, checkout our Cooking Tools to start your DIY chocolate eggs.
Start by using a piece of paper kitchen towel to buff the inside of your egg mould. Next, dip your kitchen towel into cooking oil (choose one with little to no flavour such as sunflower oil) and wipe each mould. This will help your eggs have a gorgeously smooth exterior, and helps release the chocolate from the mould once it is set.
Now you’ll want to temper your chocolate. This is an essential step – it separates the cocoa solids and makes sure that the set chocolate will be glossy and smooth. First, you’ll want to gently melt the chocolate in your double boiler/heatproof bowl over simmering, not boiling, water. Stir constantly as soon as you see the chocolate begin to melt.
Use your handy-dandy candy thermometer to find out when the chocolate reaches 43C/110F – you don’t want to go past this point! Once it reaches 43C, you’ll want to take it off the heat at once, and cool it to 35C/95F. Now it’s tempered and ready to use.
Using a spoon, pour a little chocolate into each mould and spread it evenly with the pastry brush. Remove any excess chocolate and let it set somewhere cool, covered with parchment paper. If you are having trouble getting the chocolate to set at room temp, try placing the mould in the fridge.
Do this for each mould. Once you’re done with the first layer for each mould, it’s probably time to start again on the first one (ideally, you will be adding a new layer every 20 minutes or so). Keep going until you’ve built up a sturdy shell on each mould, about three or four layers thick.
Leave your chocolate eggs to cool completely. In the meantime, set up your icing and decorating stations. Put a cookie sheet in a low (60C/140F) oven.
When you’re ready, remove your eggs from their moulds, being careful not to handle them too much or you could have a real mess on your hands, literally. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven. Place each egg, seam side down, onto the tray for a few moments to soften the chocolate. Press the softened seams from one egg onto the softened seams of another, and presto! Chocolate egg complete, with no fillers, byproducts, or chemicals!
Decorate with icing to your hearts’ desire, or devour on the spot. Don’t forget to stop and cool each precious egg every time they seem like they might begin to melt!
Wrap with foil if you’re saving them for a special Easter egg hunt or to give away. For inspiration, check out this video from Martha Stewart or try some of the creative ideas here.